Florida Sex Offender Registry Under a Magnifying GlassIn an effort to protect children from potential sexual predators, Florida requires certain convicted sex offenders to provide information about their identity and residence to their local sheriff’s office for the Florida Sex Offender Registry, a list that is available online to the general public. They must also adhere to strict rules about where they can live. Sex offenses that will land you on the registry are mostly crimes that involve minors, but some offenses involving only adults are also included.

Being placed on the sex offender registry is a burdensome punishment that will affect you for the rest of your life. Once you are on the list, it is nearly impossible to get your name off of it. That is why it is so important to fight the initial sex offense with the best defense attorney you can afford. When you are charged with a sex crime, call Flaherty & Merrifield Criminal Defense to find out how we can help.

Florida Sex Offender Registry Crimes

A conviction for any sex crime involving a minor will automatically require you to register as a sex offender in Florida. This applies whether you are convicted after a trial or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendre. Specifically, some of these offenses include the following:

  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor
  • Procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution
  • Selling or buying of minors into sex trafficking or prostitution
  • Lewd or lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age
  • Video voyeurism of a minor
  • Kidnapping, where the victim is a minor
  • False imprisonment, where the victim is a minor
  • Luring or enticing a child
  • Computer pornography
  • Transmission of child pornography by electronic device or equipment
  • Transmission of material harmful to minors to a minor by electronic device or equipment

Sex crimes involving adults that also carry a sex offender registry requirement include a variety of charges, including:

  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual misconduct involving adults with developmental disabilities
  • Sexual misconduct involving adults who are patients in a mental health facility
  • Human trafficking
  • Lewd or lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled adult

This is an incomplete list, but it gives you an idea of the range of offenses that can require you to register as a sex offender if you are found guilty.

Consequences of Being a Registered Sex Offender in Florida

Since the point of the sex offender registry is to keep sexual predators away from potential victims, being on the registry means you will lose access to many freedoms, even after you have served your time and been released from prison. You will have to register in person at your local sheriff’s office within 48 hours of your release. Registration requires you to provide a great deal of personal information, including your Social Security number, recent photo, fingerprints, home address, work address, and place of employment.

You will be forbidden from:

  • Living within 1000 feet of a school, day care center, playground, or park
  • Working or having contact with children
  • Visiting any Disney park
  • Moving out of state without meeting certain requirements

If your crime involved the use of the internet, you could also face certain digital restrictions, such as not being allowed to own or use a cellphone or computer.

It’s important to note that counties and municipalities in Florida can impose their own additional restrictions on registered sex offenders, which may place even more burdens on you if you choose to live in those communities.

Fighting the Florida Sex Offender Registry

The idea behind sex offender registries across the country is presumably to keep children safe. No one will argue that children and parents don’t deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their neighbors and teachers are not child predators. However, prosecutors often take the registry too far, using it as a bargaining chip in sentencing without explaining the full consequences of being on the list.

In some cases—especially those that do not involve a minor—your defense lawyer can negotiate to keep you off of the list, but only if you call a lawyer right away—before you have said anything incriminating or agreed to any deals. Do not hesitate to call Flaherty and Merrifield if you were arrested in Fort Walton Beach.

Tim Flaherty
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney